Whether it be for personal pleasure or party favor, there is a premium liquor out there that suits your needs. As avid fans of spirits, many of us at Vue have had the opportunity to try some of the best options available. Today, we are here to share a few of our favorites. Here are Vue’s Top Shelf Picks! We’ll be discussing our choices for Whiskey, Vodka, Tequila, and Gin.
With over 211 years of experience, Woodford Reserve is renowned for their excellent selection of fine whiskey. This ped is largely due to what they describe as their five sources of flavor: grain, water, fermentation, distillation, and maturation. For the grain, they feature a corn heavy blend with touches of rye and barley to create a spicy, nutty and ultimately sweet base. This is then mixed with water from local limestone deposits below the reserve. This mash is mixed with a special yeast strain and batched in both pot and column stills. The alcohol is then matured in homemade charred white oak barrels. After a period of careful supervision, the blend fully matures into several robust options.
Be it bourbon, rye, or wheat, this distillery has a consistency in presentation and taste. Their most lauded spirits include their Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Double Oaked Bourbon, and Straight Rye Whiskey. All of these items are Double Gold Award Winners and are excellent premium liquors for you to enjoy.
Located in the heart of the Green Mountains, WhistlePig Whiskey is a newer venture with an emphasis on stretching the boundaries on what the whiskey enthusiast expects from Rye. Their small but dedicated team takes great pride in their experimental approach, which has led them to distill one of the highest decorated rye whiskeys on the market. It starts with their unique rye blend, which is mashed and fermented. After being distilled it is aged in Vermont Oak barrels, which is credited for a great deal of its flavor due to its substantial growth rings. Most of these batches are aged for 15 years to become their signature premium liquor, Old World Rye. This is an excellent choice for Rye connoisseurs due its bold fruity flavors and spicy vanilla finish.
However, they also take this a few steps further by aging up to 18 years and twice aging it in uniquely spiced barrels. Their super premium spirit, The Boss Hog X, is a rye and whey blend spiced with frankincense and myrrh resins, aged in Vermont Oak and finished in a craft mead cask. No matter what option you choose, WhistlePig will excite your palate with its bold and unorthodox flavors.
VDKA 6100 is a grainless spirit of few words and exceptional flavor. This liquor begins its journey in Reporoa, New Zealand as a special whey blend. They then mix this blend with the purest New Zealand water and ferment it with a unique Irish yeast strain which has been carefully harvested by their distillers for over 30 years. After being refined using proprietary carbon filtering, it is bottled and sent to distributors in the New York area. When this hits your tastebuds, you may be surprised by its smoothness and subtle vanilla spice notes. Because of its clean flavor, this premium liquor can be used in any mixed drink as the perfect wingman.
Haku, meaning “brilliant” in Japanese, is a craft vodka by House Suntory. What sets this premium spirit apart from its competitors is that it is one of the only products that uses white rice as its primary ingredient. The rice is cultivated with expert precision and sent to the Kagoshima prefecture in Kyushu, Japan. This region is distinguished in the making of rice spirits, and this mastery shines in its clean, subtly sweet flavor. This is further emphasized by filtering this vodka with bamboo charcoal, which has been used since time immemorial in Japanese culture. The final product is twice distilled, and it has the taste of a premium vodka with a velvety mouthfeel. Without a doubt, Haku Vodka is an exceptional premium spirit. Be sure to try it on the rocks or in your mixed drink of choice!
When you walk into any liquor store, this top-shelf tequila is hard to miss with its elaborate ceramic decanter. But does its presentation match its quality? The answer is a resounding yes! Clase Azul has been in the business of making high-class spirits for over 25 years, and this tradition shines through its meticulous distilling cycle.
Their process starts in Jalisco, Mexico, with the finest blue agave and their patented yeast blend. After being fermented it’s then distilled and aged in American whiskey casks. Depending on the recipe, this process changes by maturing it in additional barrels such as Spanish sherry or French oak casks.
There is a small variety of super premium tequilas to choose from, and each of them have a flavorful and unique profile to satisfy your needs. To start, we recommend their signature product, the Clase Azul Tequila Reposado. This is definitely one to sip on its own. The notes of hazelnut, cloves, and cinnamon are lost when mixed with anything else, so don’t be afraid to try it straight up!
Although Tequila Fortaleza is a newer brand established in 2005, it has a history 150 years in the making. According to the company, their family is not only one of the first to create this type of liquor but is also responsible for helping establish the Denomination of Origin for Tequila. This love for the craft is self evident in their small but excellent retinue of tequilas.
These spirits start as roasted Weber blue agave in a traditional brick oven. The agave nectar is fermented with their proprietary yeast blend and distilled in copper pots. Afterward, it is either bottled as Tequila Blanco or aged in American oak to produce their signature Reposado and Añejo. If you find it difficult to decide which you would like to try first, we suggest their Añejo for starters. With notes of butterscotch, caramel, citrus, hazelnuts and a hint of smoke, this smooth spirit goes well as a slow-sipper or in a traditional margarita.
Corgi – Pembroke and Earl Grey Gin
Corgi Spirits is quickly making a name for itself since its inception in 2017. This Jersey City based distillery has many premium liquors to choose from. However, their signature spirits arrive in the form of their Pembroke and Early Grey gins. Both of these have earned gold awards in several competitions from 2018 to 2020, and have even been referenced in Forbes as one of the best Gins in the world. If you are looking for a gin that is floral with a peppery, citrusy finish, try their Pembroke Gin. It is a bright spirit that shines in any cocktail you can think of. Otherwise, we highly recommend their Earl Grey Gin. It is a fragrant mix of Earl Grey tea and bergamot citrus, and it goes great on the rocks or in many cocktails. Try it out for yourself!